Mithali, Harmanpreet meet BCCI officials; playing eleven cannot be questioned: Edulji
The Indian womens T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur and ODI skipper Mithali Raj met top BCCI officials on Monday to air their views on the selection call...
New Delhi : The Indian women's T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur and ODI skipper Mithali Raj met top BCCI officials on Monday to air their views on the selection call that has triggered a storm after the team's World T20 semi-final loss to England.
Mithali was left out of the team despite being fit and Kaur had gone on to justify the call even after the humiliating eight-wicket loss on Sunday. Both the senior players along with manager Trupti Bhattacharya met BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and GM (Cricket Operations) Saba Karim.
"Yes, we (Johri and Karim) met Mithali, Harman and manager Trupti Bhattacharya. All of them met us separately and put across their viewpoints. We have noted everything down," Johri told PTI. However, he refused to divulge the details of the meeting.
"Please don't ask me what has been discussed during the meeting," Johri said. It is expected that Johri and Karim will present a detailed report to the CoA which will then assess and, if required, speak to the individuals concerned. There is speculation that one of the CoA members has spoken to Mithali but it couldn't be independently verified.
Coach Ramesh Powar is expected to meet Johri and Karim on Wednesday. While this may not exactly be related to the selection fiasco in Antigua but Powar is unlikely to get an extension as his interim contract ends on November 30. The BCCI will continue with its policy of inviting fresh applications for the coach's position and Powar will also be eligible to apply.
"Even a player of Anil Kumble's stature was asked to re-apply and we don't see a reason why there should be an exception for Powar. Obviously, Ramesh can also apply but a fresh interviews of interested candidates will take place," a senior BCCI official said on condition of anonymity. A strong possibility exists that Mithali may never play the shortest format for India again and, like her contemporary Jhulan Goswami, only concentrate on 50-over cricket.
Indian women had a bad day
COA member Diana Edulji on Monday said the team management's controversial call of dropping senior Mithali Raj for the Women's World T20 semifinal cannot be questioned and the side simply had a 'bad day' after staying unbeaten in the group stage.
Mithali's omission from the playing eleven against England triggered a controversy and it was intensified after India were handed an eight-wicket drubbing, shattering their dreams of a maiden ICC title.
"I think too much is being made out of it. The management (captain Harmanpreet Kaur, coach Ramesh Powar, vice captain Smriti Mandhana and selector Sudha Shah) made the decision of not changing a winning combination and that backfired. If I India had won the game, I am sure nobody would have questioned their decision," Edulji, a former India captain, told PTI.
"We can't be questioning the team eleven. Another example is of Krunal Pandya, who was thrashed in the first T20 but bounced back strongly yesterday. These things happen in the game," she said.
Mithali, who had missed the last pool game against eventual champions Australia as she was recovering from a knee injury, was available for the crucial game against England. In the two innings Mithali played in the tournament, she scored 51 and 56, against Ireland and Pakistan respectively.
Harmanpreet defended the decision to keep Mithali out of the eleven, saying "whatever we decided, we decided for the team". However, the captain was slammed by the latter's manager Annisha Gupta, who claimed that the 35-year-old was a victim of politics and favouritism. Edulji said Gupta's comments were uncalled for.
"As I see it. It was just a bad day for India. The batting failed and when England were chasing, the dew made it tougher for the bowlers. The performance was unexpected, especially after the big win against Australia. "I wish they had a bad game like that earlier in the competition and not in the all-important semifinal.
The girls now have a New Zealand tour coming up, they must move on from this loss and work harder on their game," she said. Edulji also made it clear that no COA meeting has been planned yet with captain Harmanpreet and Mithali.